Some Reflections on the Social Dynamics of Privacy

Teresa Scantamburlo

Ca' Foscari University

24 February 2017, 2:30​ pm


Privacy is arguably one of the most enduring ethical issues associated to the development of information and communication technologies. However, in the last few years with the ascent of big data technologies it has gained momentum throughout the research communities and civil societies becoming a strategic hub for addressing many other ethical problems (e.g. discrimination and transparency). In the light of these recent developments, the talk will be structured as follows: in the first part I will give an overview of the main aspects involved in the privacy debate, including the new EU Data Regulation, the methodological approach of privacy-by-design and the theory of differential privacy; while in the second part I will sketch a model of privacy based on cooperative games. Interestingly, the perspective of cooperative games could have several advantages over the most common techniques such as pointing out the social dynamics of privacy as well as stressing the value of individuals’ expectations. All these aspects will be considered through the lens of a growing literature which tries to go beyond the classical private vs. public dichotomy and suggest that privacy is a social process whose functionality is inextricably tied to the development of society.

Bio sketch

Teresa Scantamburlo is a post doctoral researcher at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics (DAIS) at the university of Ca' Foscari (Venice) where she got a bachelor degree in computer science and a master degree in computer science for the humanities. In 2014 she received a PhD in computer science under the supervision of professor Marcello Pelillo and since 2015 she has been working in collaboration with the European Centre for Living Technology (ECLT) in Venice. Her research interests lie at the intersection of philosophy and pattern recognition/machine learning. Currently she is dealing with the socio-ethical issues of data science and its disparate application on human decision-making. Other research topics include the foundation of pattern recognition from the standpoint of the philosophy of science and the theory of knowledge, and the computational models of categorization in cognitive psychology.

Last update: 17/01/2019